As far as The Artist’s Way goes, I feel like I’m back to where I started. I dread drawing. It’s stressful and, more than simlpy not having the time to draw, I actively seek out other tasks (my house is cleaner than it has been in a long time). I fret constantly that I’m not working hard enough, not studying enough, not good enough. I’m back in therapy, having suffered three panic attacks in two weeks, and I’m feeling numb. Just achingly, miserably, numb and I can’t muster the will for an artist’s date when even eating feels like a chore.
None of this is the fault of the Artist’s Way, of course. It’s given me tools that have staved off this collapse for a while, but sometimes life comes at you all at once, and TAW is designed to deal with being blocked, not life crises.
This has been the best thing that’s come out of this course. I’m more consistent with them now, even managing to write at the weekend, and not beating myself up when I miss a day or three.
They’re less useful in the short term – I am spectacularly good at ignoring the bloody obvious signs of stress and burnout – but looking back, I can see warning signs.
The morning pages have given me space to vent and process things, and a resource to look back over and see when I started struggling and why. Money, the new kitten, routine, work, housework – nothing revelatory, but I’m really good at rationalising things away as “not a big deal”, but seeing the same thing come up, over and over, and – often – my handwriting deteriorating as I flounder about trying to convince myself that I’m Fine, that I have everything in hand, is telling.
I’ve tried getting out of the house but not drawing, and that small step has helped my mental health a lot, but I’m not feeling inspired.
A bad time for me, personally, but tye book has helped. Looking back over these checkins, I see where I’ve come from amd where I’ve been and I know that I can get there again.
The morning pages allow me to monitor what’s on my mind, and to just braindump and get on with it. The main issue with them is that they get me fired up to do something, but then I have to go to work and do anything other than what I’m excited about. Once I get back in my feet, I can try tinkering with when I write them and see what happens.
Overall, I think it helped what it was designed to help with, and once I get though this round of therapy, I’ll take a look at where I am artistically, and would do do it again if I needed to.